February 4th is observed as the World Cancer Day each year, with an aim to generate awareness among the masses about cancer, to educate them in its early detection and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle. We hear hundreds of survival stories revolving around cancer each year that almost overshadow millions of others losing the battle against this, fatal disease despite the correct diagnosis and treatment. Oncologists around the world have been researching vociferously and meticulously trying to come out with a cure of this disease that can affect our body in almost 100 ways. Medical journals boast of several new breakthroughs, treatments and therapies that are slowly paving a way to finding a cure to the disease. But how close are we to finding one?
Cancer can impact various body parts, act peculiar and show different symptoms with different risk levels attached to each type and stage of cancer. The umbrella term ‘cancer’ attaches with itself a phobia of a deadly disease very poorly understood by the common masses, yet 1 out of 6 deaths in the world is due to cancer as per WHO’s estimates. The disease affects millions of people worldwide, with India ranking third after China and the US. Every year, a million new cases are added to the doomed list in India. Half a million deaths occur due to diagnosis at a later stage or ignorance of the disease.
Researchers, all across the globe, are still trying to understand the role of thousands of genes and the interactions of various other factors involved in the abnormal mutations of the body cells from healthy to cancerous. The disease, like a mutating monster, has to be understood before it can be prevented or mitigated. For now, there is no single comprehensive solution for every kind of cancer.
So far, the available treatments include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, tumour surgery, and in the case of prostate cancer and breast cancer- hormonal therapy.
Some new kinds of cancer treatments are being used as well, in combination with the traditional ones or on their own having fewer side effects. Scientists are currently dealing with the challenges accompanied by these new treatments and trying to eliminate all the possible side effects. No single approach works for every kind of cancer. Still, scientists are hopeful with all the technological advances available in the wake of the cancer research going on at full speed. The question of finding a complete cure is a matter of debate but the progress is positive.
The average cost of cancer treatment can range anywhere between 6 lakhs to 20 lakhs. Even if a person is insured against it, studies show that the expenditure in a home with a cancer patient can go up to 36-44% more than in other households. The finances are sure to be disrupted in case a family member is diagnosed with cancer due to stress, loss of a source of income or higher costs of treatments. The costs have risen due to more expensive infrastructure, patented drugs and the limited number of specialists available.
India continues to have the highest levels of under-penetration in the world, with only 0.16% of the total population insured for health, as per Irda. Little wonder then that 70% of healthcare expenses are met from one’s pocket. – Economic times
A majority of patients are unable to afford the costly treatments while at times, their bodies do not respond to the treatments suitably. A generic medical insurance plan does not cover cancer and specific insurance plans covering cancer would appear futile until one actually suffers from it. The borrowings and debts mount due to higher interest rates and no insurance claim available. The need is to act smart and go in for loans with lower rates of interest and those that are easily available.
On World Cancer Day, EarlySalary wants to take the opportunity to reiterate our commitment to providing assistance to customers in case of any medical emergencies. We do this in the following ways:
Hassle-free loans can be crucial in providing timely treatment and saving lives while reducing the financial stress in the lives of the family members.
This World Cancer Day, let’s pledge to promote the financial and physical well being of our loved ones and ourselves!